The Centro di Zootecnica e Acquacoltura (CREA-ZA) of Lodi (Italy) was introduced with the intent to pursue both the consolidation of the experience of the original research institutions (former IRSA-Agricultural Ministry Institutes) and, at the same time, to establish a research organism specialized in forage-livestock-dairy productions. Indeed, CREA-ZA is located within an area including the provinces of Lodi and Cremona, which are historically devoted to the agriculture, the livestock and the dairy production. The mission of CREA-ZA is to respond to the increasing need for innovation and technological evolution of the modern agro-zootechnical sector. CREA-ZA is addressed at studying the aspects related to forage production, animal nutrition, and bovine breeding aimed at achieving dairy products of high sensorial, chemical, microbiological, and nutritional quality. More specific aims include research on agronomy, cropping and agro-grass pasture systems, and genetic improvement of fodder plants for feeding livestock. CREA-ZA is also addressed at investigating dairy cow breeding with particular attention to the relationship between nutrition, animal welfare and milk quality. The quality of milk has to be investigated along the whole production chain, from milking until the consumer, including dairy process optimization and product characterization, authenticity, and safety. Among the tasks of CREA-ZA is also to preserve and exploit its own plant and microbial germplasm collections.